“Today we can safely conclude the ESM programme with no more follow-up rescue programmes as, for the first time since early 2010, Greece can stand on its own feet.
This was possible thanks to the extraordinary effort of the Greek people, the good cooperation with the current Greek government and the support of European partners through loans and debt relief”, reads a statement by Mario Centeno, Chairperson of the ESM’s board of governors.
He added that “The ultimate goal of the financial assistance plan and reforms in Greece over the past eight years has been to create a new basis for healthy and sustainable growth. It took much longer than expected but I believe we are there: Greece’s economy is growing again, there is a budget and trade surplus, and unemployment is falling steadily.”
Indeed, August 20 is the day that Greece and its authorities had been long-waiting for after having agreed to the country’s third bailout programme in August 2015.
Over the past three years (2015-2018), the ESM disbursed of €61.9 billion in support of macroeconomic adjustment and bank recapitalisation in Greece. The remaining €24.1 billion available under the maximum €86 billion programme volume was not needed.
ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling said: “Greece is the fifth country after Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Cyprus to exit an EFSF or an ESM programme. As the ESM and EFSF are Greece’s largest creditors, holding 55% of total Greek government debt, our interests are aligned with those of Greece. We want Greece to be another success story, to be prosperous and a country trusted by investors. This can happen, provided Greece builds upon the progress achieved by continuing the reforms launched under the ESM programme. We will soon provide further support to Greece as the medium-term debt relief measures, politically agreed by the Eurogroup in June, will be incorporated into lending arrangements with Greece and are expected to be approved formally by the EFSF Board of Directors this fall.”
As the press release reads, “The ESM will continue to cooperate with the Greek authorities under the ESM’s Early Warning System, designed to ensure that beneficiary countries are able to repay the ESM as agreed. For that purpose, the ESM will receive regular reporting from Greece and will join the European Commission for its regular missions under the Enhanced Surveillance framework.”…. / IBNA
Main Photo: ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling (L) and Mario Centeno, Chairperson of the ESM’s board of governors (R)